Spend the Holidays in Virginia’s River Realm

There is so much to celebrate this time of year: family memories, delicious food, local art, and the beauty of our rivers and Bay. We invite you to celebrate the holidays with us in our part of the world! From parades, to fashion shows, to holiday markets, the River Realm is ready to welcome you to events every week this December. Get your gift list ready to check off and make plans to reconnect with nature during this holiday season.

While you’re here, indulge in a decadent meal from Eckhard’s by the fireplace or warm your spirits by the bar at Something Different Restaurant. Stay for a night or a whole week–there are lots of options for your holiday trip to Virginia’s River Realm. Wake with a view at the Tides Inn, escape to the always charming Hope and Glory Inn, or cozy up in the middle of town at the Chesapeake Inn.

Leave the stress behind and follow the Christmas music. Here’s our list of holiday events to you must add to your holiday getaway bucket list…

For the Shopper

Through December 30, Daily 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
RAL Art Center / 19 North Main Street, Kilmarnock, VA 22482

Our beloved local art center will be filled with exciting gift ideas created by its talented members all month long.  In addition to purchasing Christmas gifts, take this opportunity to purchase truly special and inspiring items for your home or office. Learn more.

December 1, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Landsdowne / 271 Virginia Street, Urbanna, VA 23175


Champagne and style? Sign us up! Get pampered while local models show you the latest fashions from Urbanna’s classy boutiques:  Cyndy’s Bynn, Lowe Tide, ReSail and R.S. Bristow at the beautifully decorated historic Landsdowne home while you are served a scrumptious meal. Tickets are $25, and available in advance at Cyndy’s Bynn, Lowe Tide, ReSail Boutique and R.S. Bristow shops in Urbanna. Call (804) 815-3388 with questions. All proceeds go to the Beautification of Urbanna Committee. Learn more.

December 2, 9 and 16 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Steamboat Era Museum /  156 King Carter Dr, Irvington, VA 22480


You’ll find it hard not to cross a few names off your list at this popular holiday market! More than 20 artisans will feature their work with wood, jewelry, metal, fiber, stain glass and more.You might even find something for your own home or your next great outfit. Learn more.

December 9, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tides Inn / 480 King Carter Drive, Irvington, VA

The Tides knows how to do Christmas! Visit the resort while it’s decked out in holiday decor and enjoy finishing off your Christmas shopping. The Marketplace will feature a select group of vendors, including artisans, artists, photographers, jewelry makers, crafts, boutiques, and even foodie options. Enjoy the view and live music on the Tides Terrace along with “Blue Plate Specials” and holiday drink from the Chesapeake Restaurant. Kids can enjoy cookie decorating and ornament painting, hosted by Mrs. Claus. Admission is free. Learn more.

See a full list of our favorite shops, boutiques and art galleries here.

For the Kiddos

December 1, 4:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Urbanna Firehouse / 330 Virginia Street, Urbanna, VA

Decorated boats, wagons, floats, and Santa will stroll down the streets of Urbanna during this small town holiday tradition. Festivities begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Urbanna Fire House with hot chocolate and food provided by the Women’s Auxiliary. At 7 p.m., the Mayor cuts the ribbon and the old-fashion holiday parade begins!  After parade activities, children are invited to visit with Santa at the Firehouse. Learn more.


December 1, 2017 – January 1, 2018  5:00 p.m. – 11 p.m.
16598 General Puller Highway, Deltaville

Arouse your Christmas spirit and come see  this magical land of lights that’s FREE for all ages.  You can drive by, but to get the full essence of all the characters and scenes, we recommend parking and walking around!  This amazing light display features more than 130,000 lights!  A 36,000-bulb, computer-controlled light show dances to Christmas music throughout the night.  As visitors walk through the display, they’ll find numerous lighted scenes, a 20-foot tall walk-in interactive light tree, and a 1,600-square foot light maze.  Learn more.  For inclement weather closings check  Facebook.com/DeltavilleLights/


December 8, 5:30 p.m.-  9 p.m.
Kilmarnock Main Street

Prepare to say “wow!” This is the oldest lighted holiday parade in Virginia and it is loaded with small town charm and pride. During its 39th year, the annual Lighted Christmas Parade in Kilmarnock with kick off with Santa meeting children at the local volunteer fire department at 5:30 p.m. and then more than 100 different lighted floats and performers dazzle down Main Street at 7 p.m. The parade is free and for children of all ages! Learn more.

December 9, 4 – 8 p.m.
White Stone, VA

The town of White Stone rings in the holiday season with caroling, cheer, food, tree lighting and Santa, who arrives in town with a police and fire department escort. After visiting the dreamy Winter Wonderland, walk down to the White Stone Women’s Club for a bake sale and gift shop, continue walking across to Allure Art Center for a Christmas Open House for cider, cookies and their light display. Free. Learn more.

December 16, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Piankatank River Golf Course / 6198 Stormont Road, Hartfield, VA 23071

Fast, slow, old, and young–all are welcome during this festival fitness event. Run, jog, crawl or stroll through the scenic, mixed surface back nine cart paths of the Piankatank River Golf Club. The event offers opportunities for the whole family including a 1-mile fun run, Frosty’s 5K Post-Race Celebration with hot chocolate, popcorn, pizza, holiday cocktails, and Santa! All proceeds will help 1,500 scholarships to the Middlesex County YMCA. Learn more and register online.

Check out this fun family travel guide here.

For the Fun Couple

December 2, 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The Town of Urbanna / Virginia Street & Cross Street, Urbanna, VA 23175

Kick off December with a healthy dose of the Christmas spirit!  The day begins with a children and pet parade and ends with a Cat Tail Party at historic Landsdowne. Other events include a chocolate and wine tasting, Festival of the Trees, and Christmas cruises. While you’re here, shop for distinctive gifts at boutiques, enjoy oysters, brisket and pie from our local restaurants. Leave the stress behind and follow the sound of the Christmas music. Learn more here.

December 8, 4:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Deltaville Community Center / 17147 General Puller Highway, Deltaville, Virginia 23043

Holidays on the water are enchanting. This festive cruise will make you believe in magic. Spend a 45-minute boat ride taking in the views of holiday decorations as their lights dance on the water. Climb aboard the M.V. Bethpager or M.V. Rob-Ann-Jay, enjoy homemade cookies and warm cider, and take it all in.  Tickets are $8. Learn more here.

December 9, 2017, All day

Take yourself, your girlfriends or your spouse on a holiday winery adventure! Break out the cozy sweaters and the cameras for photo opps galore. Throughout the day, participating wineries along the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail will have holiday refreshments, wine and gift specials. Follow their Facebook page for updates leading up to the event. Be sure to stop by Dog & Oyster Vineyard and Goodluck Cellars for some of the best wine around. Learn more.





December 16, 7:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Lancaster Middle School Theater / 191 School Street, Kilmarnock, VA 22482

Ready to party? We’re excited to welcome Director of Duke University’s Jazz Program and Grammy Award nominee John Brown as he directs a dynamic 12-piece jazz band with big band sound. This lively, swinging group has performed at the White House,  Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Hollywood Bowl, and major jazz festivals worldwide. Their solidly swinging music arrives just in time for the holidays. Call 804-438-5555 for tickets. Learn more.

See a list of our favorite luxury experiences here.

If you’ve never truly felt the magic during the holidays, then we’re certain you will when you visit us! We hope you enjoy your time with family and friends in Virginia’s River Realm. Happy Holidays from our family to yours.


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